Steven Spielberg, whose "Jurassic Park" is the top worldwide grossing film in movie history, has signed on to direct the movie of Michael Crichton's sequel "The Lost World," which has nestled in the top spot on the best-seller lists since the book was published on Sept. 28.
The film will be a co-production of Universal Pictures and Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, which is being folded into DreamWorks SKG, the company he formed last year with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.
Shooting is expected to start sometime in the second half of 1996 for a 1997 release. Spielberg and Kathleen Kennedy will serve as executive producers. Gerald R. Molen and Colin Wilson will produce while David Koepp, who co-wrote the screenplay for "Jurassic Park" with Crichton, will write the screenplay. No cast has been set.
"There is no other filmmaker who can provide the level of creative brilliance and unprecedented vision necessary to bring 'The Lost World' to the screen," Casey Silver, president of Universal Pictures, said Thursday. "We can now be assured that this film will not only be a follow-up to 'Jurassic Park,' but a unique and tremendously exciting motion picture in its own right."
"The Lost World," which has more than 2 million copies in print, is the fastest-selling novel in the history of Alfred A. Knopf. The tag line on the book jacket reads: "Something has survived"--a reference to the fact that dinosaurs are once again running loose on a remote island off the coast of Costa Rica.
"Jurassic Park," which grossed more than $913 million since it was released in 1993, also set records in home video, where it holds the title of the top-selling live action motion picture of all time. Jurassic Park--The Ride, a multimillion-dollar theme park attraction, is scheduled to open at Universal Studios Hollywood for the summer of 1996.